~These are the children of Myanmar~
*There are 18 children residing in a small orphanage in Myanmar, South East Asia. The Dalla Township in Myanmar has about 100,000 people, one hospital and only 20 beds. There is an ongoing water crisis in this part of the world and when I heard what was happening to aid in this situation, I was overwhelmed with admiration and love.
Stephen Fortner founded The Aid Myanmar Society in the summer of 2012 after visiting the area with his lovely wife Marian earlier that year. They discovered the orphanage which is across the river from Yangon, Myanmar during their trip. This homestead is administered by Pastor Joshua and his wife Ruth who care for these young children.
The following year, in 2013, Stephen and Marian returned to the small village. With them, they brought ‘Sawyer’ water filtration kits to the orphanage along with a promise to continue their efforts in helping supply food, water, housing, education and more for these wonderful children.
“…they had decided to make a commitment to support the Hope Centre for Child Development by creating this B.C. registered non-profit society.”
“Ultimately, Aid Myanmar will develop a social enterprise for the local orphanage to become self-sufficient.”-http://www.aidmyanmar.com/
I met Stephen while working at a health clinic, and got to know him through his fascinating travel stories and chatting about his and Marian’s charitable efforts to Myanmar. Once I learned about their passionate vision to help these people, I just had to get involved. All it takes is a few monthly donors to change the lives of these children for the better. A little goes a long way and with the joint efforts of a handful of people, Aid Myanmar has managed to raise enough money to renovate the orphanage, bring more water filters to the village and support the community in many ways. I keep in contact with both Stephen and Marian through Facebook and Hotmail, and enjoy reading their updates about the orphanage. It is so incredible to see such passion and drive to help the less fortunate.
The entire population suffers from this lack of water, and every single day the people of the village have to line up for water with their buckets at the local reservoir, the only source for clean drinking water.
In a recent article written in The Washington Post, the water crisis is explained in great detail, which has really opened my eyes to how much devastation this causes: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/waiting-for-water-myanmar-villages-left-behind/2014/04/12/47caa4f2-c227-11e3-9ee7-02c1e10a03f0_story.html
Stephen and Marian are applying for charitable status with CRA. They are dedicated to fundraising and continue to spread this message through the Aid Myanmar website and on Facebook as well : https://www.facebook.com/AidForOrphanageInDallaTownshipMyanmar
After returning home from their latest trip to Myanmar in February, I was so touched to receive a beautiful hand-made ‘Chin Traditional’ handbag, delivered to my office by Stephen as a gift for my donations. To come from a place where most of the people practically have nothing, this gift filled my heart with so much love and joy ❤ Along with a thank you card from Pastor Joshua and the children, every donor received their own original handbag as well 🙂 What a beautiful gesture.
My hope in writing this article, is to spread this message of love and compassion. I hope I can raise awareness for this amazing cause and get more people involved. This story deserves to be shared and thanks to Stephen and Marian, the children of Myanmar have a brighter future ❤ Paying it forward and changing the world, one child at a time.
❤ Aid Myanmar ❤